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The Tacoma City Council will meet December 12th to discuss a proposal to require all dogs to be spayed or neutered unless their owner purchases a $55 intact animal license and a breeder’s license. The fee for the breeder’s license has not yet been established and it will be required even if an owner does not intend to breed.

The measure further amends the existing limit law to allow those with intact animals to only own 2 dogs. Residents with spayed/neutered animals may own up to 6.

Finally, the new proposal will require that any dog picked up by animal control be spayed or neutered before being returned to the owner. The existing ordinance requires sterilization if an animal is picked up more than once in a 12 month period. 

It is imperative that Tacoma area fanciers and concerned dog owners immediately contact their representative on the Tacoma City Council and express their opposition to this overly restrictive and punitive legislation.

Points to Consider:

  • Mandatory spay/neuter is an ineffective solution to animal control problems because it fails to address the heart of the issue—irresponsible ownership.
  • Mandatory spay/neuter laws are extremely difficult to enforce and can be evaded by irresponsible animal owners by not licensing their pets. More regulations increase the workload of already financially strained animal control offices, making it even more difficult for them to perform their duties.
  • Spay/neuter requirements target all owners regardless of their actions and would restrict the many responsible breeders who raise and breed purebred dogs for their enjoyment of the sport. These breeders make a serious commitment to their animals with the intention of promoting the sport of purebred dogs and improving the individual breeds.
  • Strongly enforced animal control laws (such as leash laws), and increased public education efforts are better ways to address the issue of irresponsible dog ownership. A public education campaign would help teach community residents about how to properly care for their pets, as well as the need to be a responsible pet owner.

What You Can Do:

  • Attend the Tacoma City Council Meeting December 12th at 5 p.m.
    Council Chambers
    747 Market Street
    Tacoma, WA 98402
  • Contact the Tacoma City Council to express your opposition. All city council members can be emailed directly or reached at the address below
    747 Market Street, Suite 1200
    Tacoma, WA 98402-3766

Mayor Bill Baarsma

Deputy Mayor Mike Lonergan

Councilmember Julie Anderson

Councilmember Bill Evans

Councilmember Jake Fey

Councilmember Connie Ladenburg

Councilmember Spiro Manthou

Councilmember Thomas Stenger

Councilmember Rick Talbert


  • For more information, please contact

    AKC Canine Legislation Department
    (919) 816-3720

The Tacoma City Council will meet December 12th to discuss a proposal to require all dogs to be…